Every genre of literature has a secret to success, and the secret to a good romance novel is deceptively simple: follow your character’s emotions.
A good writer doesn’t cheat, either. She can’t simply whip her characters into an emotional state; it has to have developed organically. They have to feel the way they do for a good reason. So instead of prodding her characters into position, she follows them and keeps tabs on their emotional journey. It sounds passive, but it’s really more passive aggressive.
You see, while she doesn’t prod them to where she wants them to be, she isn’t above throwing drama and hardship at them like dirty snowballs on a playground. And any writer worth her salt packs a vicious ice ball. 😉
Once you smack your character in the face with an ice ball, they are bound to feel something–at lot of things, actually. And that is when you settle back down and tune into their emotions.
“And how does this make you feel?”
We writers sound like therapists who cross the line. 😉 But that is the secret. It’s as easy and as hard as that. I’ve written in other genres, but the hardest writing I’ve ever done is romance.
We certainly earn our supper!